Homemade Gift Ideas and Recipes

It’s a year to think outside the box for gift ideas!  And, what better way to surprise a family member, close friend, or colleague than to provide a gift from the heart?  Time and thoughtfulness can transform themselves into a batch of lip balm, hand soap, or a means to aid sore muscles, or other needs.  The possibilities are endless, while saving money!  Just open your cupboard, and let’s see what you have to create a unique DIY gift!

Making Lip Balm

If you have five minutes to spare, making a moisturizing chapstick eliminates harmful ingredients and provides recipients with a natural product!


  1. In a small glass bowl, measure out three tablespoons of beeswax, two tablespoons of unrefined shea butter, and four tablespoons of coconut oil. Microwave for 30 seconds at a power of 5, until melted. Stir well.
  2. Add ten drops of your favorite essential oil, and do not use food coloring.)
  3. You’ll need approximately 15 ten-milliliter pots or tubes. Pour and allow the liquid to harden.

Soap Bars

The world of soapmaking is empowering. Just imagine making a block of soap to accommodate a variety of skin care needs, whether it’s to exfoliate, treat skin conditions, or you’re requiring an anti-aging, luxurious face soap! Follow recipes either from books for beginners, YouTube, or online videos.  Step-by-step instructions can help you understand the value of using a goats’ milk base versus oatmeal or lye.

As a first attempt, try the melt-and-pour method.  You’ll need a soap mold and base, a double boiler, a glass bowl, and a small spray bottle containing rubbing alcohol. Just remember, one pound of a soap base makes approximately 10 bars!

Create a Home Spa with Essential Oils

With a few ingredients, you can create an impressive range of bath and beauty products to revive the body and relax the mind.

  • Exfoliating Body Scrub

Provide a gift that boosts the circulation while evening skin tone.  Peppermint has anti-inflammatory properties to reduce oily skin, and dermatitis coffee is a natural anti-oxidant.  (The contents of the scrub go a long way. Try using four-ounce jars.)


Add a ½ cup each of coffee grounds and brown sugar.  A ¼ cup of coconut oil and ten drops of peppermint essential oil.  Mix well.  Store in a small jar.   Create a label!  Include on it the necessity for rubbing a small amount on the skin in a circular motion. Remove after five minutes and dab dry.

  • Moisturizing Bath Melts

Quick to make, the melts allow the user to receive a deep moisturizing treatment while bathing. The following recipe makes ten.


In a double-boiler concept, melt one ounce each of shea and cocoa butter.  Add one tablespoon of coconut oil and stir; then, stir in ten drops of your favorite essential oil, such as geranium. Pour into miniature baking cupcake cups and allow them to cool.

You can find other recipes, such as for a foot balm to protect and moisturize cracked or dry soles, massage oil for him and her, or a blend of almond oil with essential oils to prepare for a diffuser.

Elderberry Syrup

A surprising gift for any recipient is a homemade jar to boost immunity, fight against bacterial and viral infections, and offer a quick road to wellness.  You’ll need to buy dried elderberries.  (Tips:  Combine one ounce of berries by weight with four ounces of water.)


The following recipe is for approximately two cups of syrup.  Determine the size of the jars before doubling the recipe.

  1. In a large pot, bring ¾ cup dried elderberries, three cups of water, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon dried cloves, four whole cloves (grated), one tablespoon of fresh ginger, one teaspoon dried ginger, and one cup of raw honey, to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. The liquid will reduce by half.
  3. After the liquid cools, drain using a fine mesh strainer and press out all the juice.
  4. Add one cup of raw honey and mix well.
  5. Store in Mason jars.
  6. Label with instructions to take one teaspoon daily!

Your home canning projects will be well-appreciated and remembered long after the jars are empty!  Always include the recipe and helpful tips for the recipient to delve into other DIY recipes!





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